Ulrich Plenzdorf

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Ulrich Plenzdorf (1993)

Ulrich Plenzdorf (born October 26, 1934 in Berlin ; † August 9, 2007 there ) was a German writer , screenwriter and dramaturge . His best known work is the 1972 in Halle , first performed stage play The New Sufferings of Young W.


Ulrich Plenzdorf was born as the son of a mechanical engineer in Berlin-Kreuzberg . His parents were imprisoned several times because of their membership in the KPD during the Nazi era . From 1949 to 1952 he attended boarding school in Himmelpfort , Brandenburg , a spin-off from the Scharfenberg island school farm in Berlin-Tegel . In 1950 the family moved from West to East Berlin , where Plenzdorf passed the Abitur in 1954 in Lichtenberg .

In Leipzig, Plenzdorf then studied Marxism-Leninism and philosophy at the Franz-Mehring -Institute of the Karl-Marx-Universität Leipzig , but left the university without a degree. Parallel to his studies, Plenzdorf worked as a stage worker from 1955 to 1958. 1958-1959 he was a soldier in the National People's Army .

From 1959 he attended the German Academy for Film Art in Potsdam-Babelsberg . From 1963 he worked as a screenwriter and dramaturge at DEFA - Studio Babelsberg .

The GDR author also became known in the Federal Republic of Germany for his socially critical story Die neue Leiden des Junge W. , published in 1972 in the magazine Sinn und Form . Originally written in 1969 as a film scenario for DEFA, the story was published in book form in 1973 and has since been published in more translated as 30 languages. The stage version, which premiered in Halle in 1972, was the most frequently performed contemporary play on the stages of Germany in the 1974/75 season and was also filmed there. In the jargon of the GDR youth of the 1970s, Plenzdorf tells the tragic story of a young person who tries to break out of his petty-bourgeois environment and repeatedly finds parallels to his own life while reading Goethe's work The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774).

Above all, Plenzdorf made a name for himself as a screenwriter. He wrote the scripts for Heiner Carow's film Die Legende von Paul und Paula , the Hans Fallada film Der Trinker with Harald Juhnke or Frank Beyer's film Abgehauen based on Manfred Krug's autobiography. He also wrote the scripts for the fourth of the five seasons of Jurek Becker's ARD television series Liebling Kreuzberg .

For the songs of the Puhdys used in the legend of Paul and Paula , such as Go to Her , he wrote the texts, in part using biblical quotations.

Since 1992 he has been a member of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin. In 2004 he was a visiting professor at the German Literature Institute at Leipzig University.

Ulrich Plenzdorf had been married since 1955 and had three children. His wife was an editor at the Volk und Wissen publishing house . For many years, Plenzdorf had his Berlin residence at Wilhelm-Pieck-Strasse (since 1990: Torstrasse ) 5 in the Mitte district .

Ulrich Plenzdorf died at the age of 72 after a long illness in a clinic near Berlin. Ulrich Plenzdorf was buried on August 23, 2007 where he last lived: in Alt Rosenthal near Seelow , in the Märkisch-Oderland district . His estate is in the archive of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.

Awards and honors

Works (selection)

  • The new sorrows of the young W. (stage play, world premiere 1972)
  • Young W.'s new sorrows (novel, 1972)
  • Buridan's donkey (stage play, 1975, based on the novel by Günter de Bruyn )
  • Excerpt (1977)
  • no down no far (story, 1978; first edition 1984)
  • Legend of happiness without end (novel, 1979)
  • Bedtime Story (1983)
  • A Day Longer Than a Lifetime (Drama, 1986)
  • Time of the Wolves (Drama, 1989)
  • Deprivation of liberty (drama, 1987, based on the story by Günter de Bruyn )
  • Father Mother Killer Child (stage play, 1993/94)
  • Berlin stories. An author anthology as it came about and was prevented by the Stasi (1995)
  • Darling, Prenzlauer Berg. A lawyer drives a rickshaw. (1998)
  • One and one is divided (1999)
  • Dirty Angels (2004)
  • I long for oppression: Songs, Chansons, Moritaten - used songs (2004)


radio play


  • Siegfried Mews: Ulrich Plenzdorf. Beck, Munich 1984.
  • Edwin Kratschmer : The new sorrows of the young W, in interpretations, narratives of the 20th century . Stuttgart 1996
  • Arnim-Thomas Bühler: Ulrich Plenzdorf. Personal bibliography 1970–1993. Kletsmeier, Wetzlar 2000.
  • Mark-Oliver Carl: (inconsistencies) in Ulrich Plenzdorf. Analysis of intertextual revivals in "no down no far", "The Legend of Paul and Paula", "Time of the Wolves", "Karla" and "The New Sorrows of Young W." Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2008.
  • Leonore KrenzlinPlenzdorf, Ulrich . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 2. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Regine Sylvester: He brought it up . In: Berliner Zeitung . August 10, 2007

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Leonore Krenzlin:  Plenzdorf, Ulrich . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 2. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  2. Ulrich Plenzdorf died . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . August 9, 2007.
  3. digithek.ch
  4. ^ Knerger.de: The grave of Ulrich Plenzdorf
  5. Ulrich-Plenzdorf-Archiv inventory overview at the Academy of Arts in Berlin.